Data Protection And Employment
Does your organisation hold information regarding employees? If so, are you familiar with the current statutory requirements regarding data retention in relation to your employees?
Employers will ordinarily hold a substantial amount of information about their employees, including sensitive data, such as information regarding physical or mental health conditions, criminal convictions, disabilities, racial origin and trade union membership. Particular conditions need to be met in order to for an employer to hold such information.
Also remember that employees, like individuals, have a right to gain access to information that is kept about them.
Under current UK legislation (the Data Protection Act), the fifth Data Protection Principle states that personal data may not be kept for longer than is necessary for the purpose.
In the context of employment, a prudent employer should ensure that the following examples of retention periods are generally applied, in order to comply with the fifth Data Protection Principle.
- Unsuccessful Job Applicants
Where a job applicant has applied for a position, and has been unsuccessful with their application, the data held regarding such a person should generally be destroyed within four month of the decision not to recruit the applicant.
- Annual Leave Information
Records regarding an employee’s annual leave should generally be destroyed one year after the end of the year in which the annual leave was taken.
- Disciplinary Records
Disciplinary records should be retained for a period of 6 years following the conclusion of the disciplinary process.
- Salary Details
Salary details should be retained for two years after the employee has ceased working for employer.
- Accidents on the Premises
Records should be retained for three years after the date of any accident taking place on an employer’s premises.
You should also be aware that the General Data Protection Regulations are due to come into force in May 2018, and this will have a substantial impact upon how an organisation may hold personal information.
Do please contact us if we can assist you with your organisation with any queries which you have regarding the retention and destruction of employment records!